"Hark! The Herald Angels Sing!"
Although "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" is a traditional Christmas song, it is not just telling the story of the angel announcing Jesus' birth. This hymn reminds us that all of the angels in heaven are constantly praising Jesus Christ! When we sing and worship Him, we are never alone, but we are, literally, singing with the angels. Note how we sing “Joyful all ye nations rise, JOIN the triumph of the SKIES” and “Christ, by highest HEAVEN adored.” Christ is so wonderful, even angels worship Him!
Even though He is worshiped by angels, Christ was born as a normal human being. Even still, He had all the glory of God. The fullness of God lived in a human body, meaning that the Holy of Holies was no longer in the temple behind a veil, but among us, covered only by human flesh. Hence, we sing “Veiled in flesh, the Godhead see, hail the incarnate deity, pleased with us in flesh to dwell, Jesus our Emmanuel.” Emmanuel, by the way, means “God with us.”
Christ became a human so that He could die and rise again. When He did this, He enabled all of us to live a new life in Him. As the hymn says, He was “born to raise each child of earth, born to give us second birth.” So give thanks to God for the gift of new life whenever you sing "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing."
"We Three Kings"
The Bible tells us that some wise men (the Bible does not say that there were three) visited Jesus after He was born. They followed the light of a star to find Him and they brought Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. These were not just random gifts; they each had a special meaning.
Gold: Gold was considered the right kind of gift to give to a king. Every king who knows what He's doing has gold! That's why the wise men brought gold to Jesus: to show He was King!
Frankincense: Frankincense was burned to release a very nice smell. The ancient Jews burned frankincense in the temple as an offering to God, so frankincense came to represent God. The wise men brought frankincense to Jesus to show that He was God.
Myrrh: Myrrh was a substance that came out of certain bushes. It had a strong smell and was a very powerful chemical. It was often used on dead bodies to preserve them, so myrrh represented death. The wise men gave Jesus myrrh to show that He would die as a sacrifice.
"We Three Kings" uses the symbolism of the gifts given to Jesus to tell us a lot about who Jesus is. He is our King, we are obedient to Him, serving Him with our whole heart, and He rules wisely over us and takes care of us. He is our God; we worship Him for His power and His wisdom. Even though He is our King and our God, He also died for us, giving His life so that we could have eternal life with Him. Jesus Christ is so many things to us, as we celebrate whenever we sing "We Three Kings."
"Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing"
"Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing" is a plea to God to provide us with the rich blessings that only He can provide.
Verse 1 literally asks for a song. The grace of God is so incredible, nothing that we can think of adequately expresses our thanks. That's why we ask God to tune our hearts and teach us some melodious sonnet. This hope will be fulfilled, because Revelation 14 promises that when Jesus returns we will “sing a new song before the throne.”
Verse 2 confesses that God blesses us even though we don't deserve it. He keeps us safe even when we endanger ourselves. Specifically, He rescued us from danger by shedding His own blood, or interposing His blood, so that our blood would not be shed. Romans 5 reminds us that “while we were yet sinners, yet Christ died for us.” The bleeding side of Christ is, indeed, the fount of every blessing.
Verse 3 asks God to keep us close to Him. Though we are indebted to God for everything, we must confess that we are prone to wander. Therefore, as we worship God, we ask that He use His strength to bind our hearts to Him. 2 Corinthians assures us that God “has put His seal of ownership on us” by the power of the Holy Spirit.
We approach God with humble spirits, asking for all that we need as we sing "Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing."
"For All the Saints"
"For All the Saints" is about so much more than remembering Christian brothers and sisters who have passed. It is about the amazing God that they worshiped in life and will worship forever!
Vs. 1 gives thanks to Jesus for the ministry of those who came before. We ask that Jesus' name be blessed forever for the people who were sent before to confess Him to the whole world. Many of us know a special saint of the past, someone of amazing faith who told us about Jesus Christ. We are right to give glory and thanks to God for that person.
Vs. 2 Celebrates everything God did for the saints of the past and continues to do for us. He was a fortress in danger, a leader in battle, a light in darkness. Though those of the past have died, we still have a mysterious communion with them because we all belong to Christ. As vs. 3 says, “Yet all are one in thee, for all are thine.”
Vs. 4 reminds us that in the middle of our difficulties and struggles here below, we know that victory awaits. In that day, the more glorious day mentioned in vs. 5, Christ will return and all of the saints of the past will rise to perfect life again at the return of their king to earth. Then, all together, a countless host of risen people from all over the world will flood into God's city and sing His praise in unity forever.
We sing "For All The Saints" in memory of the saints of the past, in anticipation of our future glory, and in thanksgiving to our God for the hope and life He gives us.